Almost all the people that start to promote a business online make the same mistake. They think something like “There are hundreds of millions of Internet users. If I just put my link in as many websites as I can I will reach a lot of people and they will buy my products.” So they start spamming every website they go to, hoping that by reaching enough people, a small percentage of them will become paying customers. Let me tell you something, there is no worse approach than that one. A few years ago I read an excellent book called The Art of the Start, by Guy Kawasaki. Kawasaki is a venture capitalist and he wrote about the most common mistakes that people make when they ask for venture capital. One of them is what Kawasaki called the China Myth. Several entrepreneurs pitch him about how big the Chinese market is and that they only need 0.1% of the market share to be successful. Now, 0.1% sounds easy, doesn’t it? But here’s what Kawasaki says. There are 1.6 billion people in China. A tenth of 1% of that is 1.6 million people. Do you have a realistic plan to sell your products to 1.6 million people? It’s the same way online. Don’t spam a million websites hoping that 0.1% of the people that read your spammy messages will buy from you. Try something else instead. Ask yourself these three questions and I guarantee that you’ll be a lot closer to succeeding online: 1. Who is my client? 2. How can I reach her? 3. What do people in my market base their buying decisions on? Let’s say that you sell a back support product that you can put on your office chair or car seat and helps you to relax your back. The answers to the questions above would be: 1. Who is my client? People with back pain, office workers, and health care professionals. 2. How can I reach her? People with back pain: through back pain online forums, groups, and discussion boards. Office workers: at online business communities like LinkedIn and business forums. Health care professionals: doing profile searches on LinkedIn, through Facebook and LinkedIn groups, etc. 3. What do people in my market base their buying decisions on? People with back pain would buy your product if it makes their pain vanish. Office workers will buy your product if you can prove them that a rested back will improve their productivity. Health care professionals will recommend your product to their patients if you can prove them that it really works and the commission they receive makes sense to them. The Conclusion Find out who your client is, where you can find her and what motivates her to buy. Reach her with useful information and an effective message that pushes the right buttons (based on the reasons why she makes purchasing decisions for a product like yours).